I drove to Casa Grande to meet a group who drove south from Phoenix and who were in a vehicle that could make the rugged route to the trail head for Newman Peak. The distance, 2.5 miles to the peak, won't impress anyone but what quality miles we would walk.
We cross a canal that takes water from north to south.
And so it begins as Paul, Todd and Fan begin the trek. It was a good group as we were of similar fitness levels so no one dragged the group's progress. The difficulty of the route was enough of a drag.
Rugged is probably the best adjective to describe the conditions and this was the "easy" part. Eventually we reached a point where....
....a pile of rocks (center right) indicates where we should hang a left and begin a very steep ascent to a false summit (dispiriting) and then continue on.
We work our way through shrubs, boulders, loose rock and then....
....we were stumped as the final leg could have gone one of three ways up chutes. I scouted around a bit into the left chute, then the center chute and of course, the correct route was the right chute. Figures.
Eventually, we reached the summit, which afforded fine views of Picacho Peak across I-10.
This summit is populated by a variety of buildings with satellite arrays and a cell phone tower. After hanging around a bit, we began.....
....the descent as clouds were rolling in, promising rain later in the day. Finished with 5 miles and 2700' of climbing. That was slightly more than 1000' of elevation gain per mile for the 2.5 mile summit climb. Once home, I spent some time in the spa, after a glass of wine of course.